View in the new Africa house
The Africa section of the zoo – extending from the Africa house through the lion and caracal gorge and on to the giraffe and zebra enclosure (opened in 2008) – was completed when the old seal pool was converted into the visitor-accessible ring-tailed lemur island.
This was preceded by comprehensive upgrades and new constructions, all of which have turned the zoo into a real gem. The Africa house opened its gates in 1998, followed by the visitor-accessible Tundra aviary in 1999.
After construction, the Africa house was opened in April 2018. As the roof is self-supporting, there was no need for pylons, so the entire width of the house is open to the animals. Even the former visitors’ walkway has been given over to the elephants. This means that they now have more than double the amount of indoor space. The soft sand floor not only keeps them occupied, but is also more comfortable for them. It wasn’t long before Mogli was rolling around in a specially created sand pile and reaching her trunk over the electric fence to take a cheeky nibble on a palm – one of more than 450 plants that give the new Africa house its authentic savannah atmosphere.
The nine members of the mandrill troop are also settling into their new home well. As rainforest creatures, baboons like to be up high, and this was taken into consideration during the extensive renovation of the indoor space. The steel mesh enables these animals, known for their strikingly coloured faces, to climb to heights of seven metres and catch a glimpse of their elephant neighbours. Visitors and mandrills are no longer separated by a moat. Now they can see each other face-to-face through the large panoramic windows.
The naked mole-rats and elephant shrews have also been moved from their homes in the entrance area and are back on display.
After opening the Africa house for animals and visitors, the outdoor enclosure for the elephants were renovate, too. So the zoo now is able to keep a bull elephant temporarily. In november 2018 the bull Tembo was moved from Berlin to Dresden.
Map of Dresden Zoo